SELF-CARE, SELF-CARE, SELF-CARE! What does that even mean?
Now that we have been catapulted into 2022 we carry with us the dumpster fire of the last few years filled with the COVID pandemic, political unrest, social injustices, and a toilet paper shortage, just to name a few. We are told these are unprecedented times, but really, these are simply the current societal catastrophes there always were and always will be. These big things happening in the world that trickle down into our everyday lives many of which we have little control over. I suppose at least we have cleaner hands now to tackle them!
On top of all that, what about the smaller-scale everyday life stressors such as work challenges, relationship issues, illnesses, financial hardships, and Amazon delivery delays? OK, well that last one might not be a major life stressor. But all of the aforementioned greatly affect OUR mental health.
So now that I have your attention, what are you doing to cope with such things? It’s called self-care. What is it, how do I get some, how do I implement this self-care, and what if I don’t have time for this concept of self-care? I personally have trouble following through on a New Year’s resolution for more than three weeks, so I can certainly understand the difficulty of trying to establish and maintain self-care with regularity. However, this is one area I shine!
The benefits of self-care are priceless to your overall physical and emotional well-being. Self-care looks different for everyone. If you read last month’s Blog ‘Got New Years Resolutions’ you learned that the key to a resolution, which is really the same as implementing self-care, is to create goals, make plans, maybe even make a schedule and implement the heck out of your self-care goals!
I recommend you make a list of the things you enjoy and/or new things you would like to try such as reading, going out to your favorite restaurant, writing letters, yoga, gardening, traveling, painting, cooking, exercising, spending time with friends, date nights, walk in nature, meditate, journaling, audiobooks on the way to work or while you clean the house or a spa day with a friend. Don’t forget therapy which is also a huge form of self-care and important for the maintenance of our mental health. I think you get the idea, self-care can even be spending 10 minutes alone every morning with your favorite cup of coffee just savoring it and appreciating such small yet meaningful things in your life.
By now you get it and if you don’t like the ideas on my list, use your Google machine! The point is, figure out what you want to do and do it with regularity, some people have even created a 30-day self-care calendar challenge with an activity and time frame for each day. Ideas include a 15-minute walk one day, reading a chapter of a book on another day, 30 minutes of journaling, going to bed 30 minutes earlier, taking a mental health day off of work, doing something fun, cooking your favorite meal and the list goes on. Do not overwhelm yourself. You certainly don’t need to jump into a 30-day challenge. Start small, but it’s important to implement regular self-care so that you come to enjoy it and depend on it. IT’S TIME TO TAKE CARE OF YOU!
Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and irritability, increase happiness, improve energy, and so much more. Get yourself some today!
If this sounds like the situation you or someone you care about is confronting, please get in touch with Good Therapy’s team of licensed professional counselors and therapists today at 630-473-3971.